As the release of Taeyeon‘s fifth mini-album To. X draws closer, and the buzz has intensified, not just because of the music but also due to the captivating male model featured in her latest concept photos and clips. The intrigue about the model’s identity was finally put to rest when fans recognized him after Taeyeon’s teaser images with the model stopped hiding him in the shadows.
The concept photos present Taeyeon alongside a male model, portraying what appears to be her ex-lover within the storyline of the album. The chemistry between the two is palpable as they engage in endearing gestures of closeness, huddled together in the cozy confines of a photo booth.
Yet, the sweet display takes a turn for the enigmatic with a clip that hints at darker themes underpinning their relationship, suggesting manipulation and gaslighting — a stark contrast to the affectionate images. SM Entertainment, the label behind Taeyeon’s musical pursuits, has indicated that the mini-album will explore the narrative of a protagonist grappling with a love that’s lost its reason.
TAEYEON 태연 'To. X' From. X
TAEYEON 태연 The 5th Mini Album ‘To. X’
🎧 2023.11.27 6PM KST
— TAEYEON Official (@TAEYEONsmtown) November 16, 2023
As the teasers began to surface, the male model’s identity was shrouded in mystery, his face obscured by shadows or left out of the frame. However, last week the veil was lifted, and the fans were introduced to Kim Hyun Jae —a model and actor represented by YG KPLUS.
Kim isn’t new to the K-Pop scene, having appeared in SISTAR Hyolyn‘s music video for “This Love.” His rugged good looks and well-built physique are showcased on his Instagram profile, where he enjoys a following of over 94,000 people.
A quick glance at his profile offers ample evidence of why he was a perfect choice for this role — his striking features, chiseled physique, and the enigmatic air he exudes are captivating.
Taeyeon’s fans have expressed both excitement and envy over Kim’s role — with many praising his striking appearance while others say just how much they want to be in his place.
gotta give it to her stans cause if irene ever did anything like this i’d have to deactivate to stay sane pic.twitter.com/AuuPy28MCM
— 🐦⬛ (@ashfixation) November 19, 2023
Sorry but if you refuse to buy this Taeyeon album because a man is featured in the concept then I'll forever consider you a fake Taengbba. It just tells me you weren't here for the right reasons in the first place so fck off pic.twitter.com/9hi8OSZCOP
— To. Skellie (@SkellTaeng) November 21, 2023
— To. Triz (@soinvuuuuu) November 19, 2023
i honestly think it's gonna be fun and cute to see girlfriend taeyeon if the story isn't about the man being controlling and manipulative in the story
because now all i can think about is how we're gonna see him hurting her in the mv and we're gonna listen to her voice telling… pic.twitter.com/zyX7I9udhQ
— ᴛᴏ. ᴛᴀᴇʏᴇᴏɴ ꜱᴛᴜꜰꜰ (@kimtaenos) November 20, 2023
The attention has undoubtedly brought Hyun Jae’s work to a wider audience, potentially marking a significant step in his career.
As anticipation for To. X mounts, it’s clear that Taeyeon’s choice of Kim Hyun Jae as her counterpart has made a memorable impact. His participation in the teasers not only adds a visual edge to the upcoming release but also stirs up curiosity about his role in the album’s narrative. With his career set to receive a boost from this high-profile exposure, Kim Hyun Jae is a name that many will be watching in the future.